Decades ago at a small women’s college in New England, a group of girls met and formed an incredible friendship. Those thirteen girls had no idea at the time how strong their friendship was and how it would last and, in fact, strengthen through the years.
We called ourselves “The Dynasty” which gives you a clue as to how impressed we were with ourselves at the time! We were bright, attractive, and full of fun. We all had an amazing zest for life!
Years have passed since our graduation from Connecticut College and through the years, this group of friends has continued to share many milestones together; marriage, children, divorce, death, and career challenges and successes. We always take the time from our busy lives to stay connected and make a point to set aside quality time each year to meet for a few days. These reunions are always filled with laughter and tears, and always the warmth of love and friendship. There is such a special feeling when you re-unite with old friends. No need for formalities. We get right into it and return immediately to where we were as college students and bask in the glow of love and respect for each other, and the safety in knowing each other so well.
This past week, we lost one of our friends to cancer; the second one from our group. When someone passes at a young age, of course, there is an overwhelming sense of sadness.This past week since we all received the news of Judy’s passing, we have once again pulled together to support each other and share memories; memories about the good times as well as the tough times, laughter, tears, and gratitude for the time we spent with Judy and each other over the years.
So this post is a tribute on many levels. First and foremost, it is a tribute to my friend Judy, who valiantly battled her disease until the end, who gave us all so much joy through the years with her sharp wit and wisdom. It’s also a tribute to “the dynasty” and how our friendship and commitment to each other have endured; how we have continued to support each other through all of life’s challenges. It’s also a tribute to the strength of women everywhere and their innate ability to form and build lasting relationships. It is this innate ability to build strong relationships that will take us forward into leadership positions that will change the world.
Wow! Women’s Success Coaching was chosen as one of the TOP 100 websites for working women. I am thrilled and extremely honored to be a part of this awesome list of websites and blogs.
The authors of the Forbes article, Meghan Casserly and Jenna Goudreau, state:
No one can succeed on her own. Even the savviest women need help along the way. To that end, with the help of the ForbesWoman community, we’ve searched the Web for the most dynamic, inspiring and helpful websites for women. We’re delighted to present this list of ForbesWoman’s Top 100 Websites for Women.
To determine which sites and blogs made the cut we looked for compelling and decidedly female-oriented content, outstanding design, an active community and frequent updates. In short, sheer clickyness.”
Click here to read the article.
When we think of industries where women have been successful, the film and television industries might come to mind. Women are quite visible in movies and television and the types of roles now available for female actors seem to be much more powerful. Today, we’ll hear first hand from Terry Lawler, the Executive Director of New York Women in Film & Television, what the current status is for women both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. What opportunities are there for talented women and what challenges, if any, still remain?
Terry Lawler has been the Executive Director of New York Women in Film & Television since 1997. She is a Vice President of the Board of Directors of the New York Production Alliance and serves on the Board of Directors of Manhattan Neighborhood Network and the Katahdin Foundation. Previously, Terry served as Director of Development and Production at Women Make Movies, and as National Director of Film and Videomakers Services at the American Film Institute. She has worked as a media consultant for the MacArthur Foundation, the Astraea Foundation, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Goethe Institute, among others. She has served as a production executive on several network television specials and was an Executive Producer of Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography, which won Best Documentary awards from the American Society of Film Critics and the New York Film Critics Circle, and Hollywood Mavericks, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Terry received the NY Women in Film & Television Muse Award for Vision and Achievement in 2007
If you don’t raise your hand, you won’t be called on and maybe that’s a good thing; a good thing, that is, if you want to remain invisible and safe. After all, when you raise your hand, you are risking public failure. When you raise your hand, you are sending a signal to everyone that you have the confidence to publicly state your opinion, volunteer for something, or ask a question (even at the risk of sounding clueless).
In an article written by Clay Shirky, a professor at NYU, titled “A Rant About Women”, he says
“To put yourself forward as someone good enough to do interesting things is, by definition, to expose yourself to all kinds of negative judgments, and as far as I can tell, the fact that other people get to decide what they think of your behavior leaves only two strategies for not suffering from those judgments: not doing anything, or not caring about the reaction”.
He points out in the article that women are more apt to do nothing and less apt than men to take risks and take advantage of important opportunities that may present themselves because they fear failure. He feels women are more concerned with what other people may think of them than what they want to achieve.
This type of behavior definitely has a negative impact for women when it comes to advancing their careers. If we are fearful of taking risks and taking advantage of new opportunities, we will not progress.
Why don’t we raise our hands more? It boils down to fear of failure, fear of what other people will think of us, lack of self-confidence, and most importantly, our belief that self-promoting behavior is not appropriate or acceptable.
Further in the article Clay writes:
“Another of my great students, now a peer and friend, saw a request from a magazine reporter doing a tech story and looking for examples. My friend, who’d previously been too quiet about her work, decided to write the reporter and say “My work is awesome. You should write about it.”
The reporter looked at her work and wrote back saying, “Your work is indeed awesome, and I will write about it. I also have to tell you you are the only woman who suggested her own work. Men do that all the time, but women wait for someone else to recommend them.”
When I look back at my own career, I can see that every major turning point involved me stepping up and raising my hand in some way. Yes, I will take the job to run a cardiac rehab center even though I have no business experience. Yes, I will move to Chicago from the east coast to run a company when I have never been a CEO before. Yes, I will leave corporate America to start my own business because I believe in my ability to be successful. And most recently, I said “yes” to VoiceAmerica when they called to ask me to become a radio host. I had no experience, but my belief in myself and my willingness to fail (in a very public way I might add) were major factors.
This is why I now focus my efforts on helping women promote themselves; because quite simple, we don’t raise our hands enough. Yes, there are many possible reasons why we are not better at self-advancement, but the consequences of not doing this well have a huge impact on the progress of women in business.
Everyday more and more women are making inroads in male dominated industries, but the progress has been slow. Traditionally these industries have offered little or no advancement opportunities for women. Today’s show, in collaboration with the Women’s Presidents Organization (WPO), will focus on two women who have achieved career success running companies in the steel industry and manufacturing. Today, these women, Karen Howlett and Kate Putnam, both Presidents of their companies, will share with us what their challenges have been as women in their field and what lessons they’ve learned on how to achieve career success.
Karen Howlett is the President and Owner of McSweeney Steel Company. Based in Seattle, McSweeney Steel has been providing project management for stock and fabricated steel to Contractors and Erectors in the construction industry throughout Hawaii, Guam, and the Pacific Northwest, including Alaska, since 1981. As a single source steel supplier, McSweeney services include estimating, detailing, fabrication, design assistance, production quality checks, and transportation coordination. Karen bought the company in 2006 after a successful career at Ford Motor Company.
Kate Putnam is the President of Package Machinery Company Inc., a global technology leader in wrapping machinery for consumer products. Under Putnam’s leadership the Company has developed a new generation of all servo wrapping machinery for consumer products.
In 1996, Putnam put together an investor group to purchase this business. She brought her robust career in multinational banking, corporate treasury and consulting to her role as change leader at Package.
In 2001 Package was the first to introduce an all-servo driven wrapping machine. The Company now produces both semi-automatic and all servo customized, wrapping machines for consumer products in trays, boxes or bundles. Customers range from Fortune 50 companies to privately owned businesses.
She holds a BA in history from Mount Holyoke College and an MBA in Finance from New York University.
Yesterday I attended a meeting for a local organization and we were discussing business as usual when a colleague of mine made the comment that someone’s “nose was out of joint” because of a certain interaction that had occurred earlier in the week. That got me thinking. What was the origin of this idiom and what actually happens when someone’s nose is out of joint?
It turns out that the earliest form of this idiom was first recorded in 1581, and the description is to “be upset or irritated, especially when displaced by someone”. Your “nose is out of joint” when the look on your face and the way you act shows other people that you are upset. Although a nose cannot actually be “out of joint”, a person who is upset may have a strange look on their face until they recover.
So that leads me to another question. How do you react when you are upset with something that someone did or said to you? Does your nose get “out of joint” or are you able to clearly communicate verbally why you are upset?
I think we tend to suffer in silence. When someone says something to us that upsets us, we internalize it and don’t verbally respond, at least not right away. Later when another person asks us why we are upset, we might share what happened and how the particular incident affected us. If we follow this course of action, however, we miss the opportunity to give feedback to the person who caused us pain or irritation. Often they hear it from a third party and you know how that goes. Just like the old game of telephone, the communication gets mixed up and muddled.
This leads me to another question. Why don’t we give immediate direct feedback about how we feel to the person who upsets us? Why do we rely on body language to convey our message when it can be so easily misinterpreted or even overlooked?
I can offer some theories:
- We are fearful of the reaction of the other party.
- We lack the confidence to express our feelings directly.
- We don’t understand how assertive communication can benefit a relationship.
- It’s much easier to be passive aggressive and tell everyone else how upset we are than confront the other person directly.
- A combination of all of the above
What about you? How do you react when someone upsets you? Do you communicate directly to the other person how you feel or do you get your “nose out of joint”, make a little grimace and move on?
If you don’t assert yourself and communicate directly, you miss an opportunity to build or strengthen a personal or professional relationship.
I would love to hear your thoughts.
There are many resources available now to women who seek to advance their careers and expand their networks. The Glass Hammer is an example of an excellent resource. This online community created by Nicki Gilmour, provides women with access to information for their professional development and to a network of like minded women in financial and professional services industries.
Today we’ll learn from Nick how she uses this online community format to promote her message of gender equality in the workplace.
We will also learn about her newest project; the launch of the site, www.evolvedemployer.com and how this new site will work to help employers attract and retain top talent.
Nicki Gilmour is the founder and publisher of www.theglasshammer.com and www.evolvedemployer.com and CEO of Evolved People Media.
Nicki is a highly experienced media professional with over 10 years as a game-changer in print and online publishing.Nicki became interested in diversity and how companies recruited, managed and retained top talent in her role as Managing Director of the financial job website, eFinancialCareers.com. Previously, she was a Sales Director at Financial News in London.
Theglasshammer.com launched in 2007 as an online community for women in financial and professional services. The aim of theglasshammer.com is to inform, inspire and empower women with useful content and to provide events to enhance networking opportunities. The sister site www.evolvedemployer.com is being launched in June 2010 as a site for business leaders to understand Corporate Social Responsibility better.
Nicki holds B.A. degrees, with honors, in business and economics from both Manchester Metropolitan University in England and Universidad de Murcia in Spain.
A couple of weeks ago, I interviewed Libby Gill on my Head over Heels Radio show about her book, You Unstuck: Mastering the Rules of Risk Taking in Work and Life. Reflecting on that discussion this week, I realized that there are so many ways we get stuck in our personal lives and in our businesses. I guess it’s part of the human condition to get “stuck in our ways”, especially as we get older.
Sometimes we get stuck because we become so comfortable where we are that we are fearful of taking any risks that might bring about change. So we stay in a job that has no potential or a job that we hate because in our minds, the choice is between the job that we have become so accustomed to and the unknown. We are frightened of the change. Needless to say, whatever the reason is that we don’t make a change, it is important to realize the consequences of being “stuck”. After all, being “stuck”, quite simply means going “nowhere”.
As an entrepreneur or small business owner, it is critical to not only be flexible, but willing to take some risks and embrace change. Any company that is fearful of change will eventually miss the boat. We all need to keep the pace of the many changes in the business world today. Think about this; if you did not embrace technology or the internet, where would your business be right now? What about social media?
I often laugh when I think about the phrase “business as usual”. In today’s marketplace, does that have any meaning at all? Changes happen so rapidly and the need to adapt and be flexible so critical, that the way we did business just last week, can be obsolete!
In my own business, I am constantly making changes to my business model and tweaking my approach, yet I still find that I get very comfortable with some aspects of my business. Consequently, it becomes more of a challenge for me to let go of certain business practices as my business gets more sophisticated. It seems that there are so many choices relative to how to move forward that it’s daunting. It’s much easier to procrastinate or vegetate instead. (By the way, when this happens, it is a good time to hire a business coach!)
Take a good look at your own business and evaluate your flexibility and willingness to change. Have you resisted any changes to your business recently? Are the reasons for your resistance valid or are you stuck because of your comfort level and fear of taking any risks?
Remember that being “stuck” means “going nowhere”.
Women can thrive in male dominated fields, whether working in academia, private practice or the corporate sector. My guest, Suzanne Doyle-Morris is an expert of gender equality, diversity in the workplace, and career progression for women, and our discussion for today’s show will be on how we get “Beyond the Boys Club”; how do we proactively take control of our careers and negotiate office politics to get ahead without surrendering our feminine qualities?
Suzanne Doyle-Morris, PhD is an author, academic, entrepreneur, international speaker and accredited executive coach specializing in strategic career development and leadership coaching for high-potential executive women. She is one of the world’s top experts on gender equality, diversity in the workplace and career progression for executive women.
Suzanne is author of Beyond The Boys Club – strategies for achieving career success as a woman working in a male dominated field.She is creator of the Beyond The Boys Club Career Development Plan for Executive Women: a transformational leadership development program designed for high potential females that focuses on strategic career planning.
Suzanne has a BA in Women’s Studies & Psychology. She received her PhD in Educational Research from the University of Cambridge in the UK. She founded Doyle Morris Coaching & Development in 2005 to help organizations develop and retain their female talent.